The Slovenian defense ministry says the contract for the purchase of 45 Boxer infantry fighting vehicles (IFV) for 343 million euros is expected to be completed as early as this month.
The ministry revealed this after the country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the government did not act in an unconstitutional manner when it banned a referendum on the IFV deal proposed by the opposition.
Slovenia’s defense minister Matej Tonin welcomed the decision of the court, emphasizing that the government would now undertake further steps with the aim of signing the contract with Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR).
The purchase of the 8×8 combat vehicles has been delayed for a long time, preventing Slovenian armed forces from establishing a medium-sized battalion battlegroup (SrBBSK), which has been deemed an essential capacity for further development and improvement of the state of readiness of the military.
Slovenia’s defense ministry said the 343.4 million contract would see the first Boxer IFV delivered by the ARTEC consortium, which is composed of German military vehicle specialists Krauss-Maffei Wegmann and Rheinmetall, in 2023.
The estimated delivery schedule includes nine vehicles in 2024, 22 in 2025, and the final 13 IFVs in 2026.
Slovenia’s Boxer vehicles would have a similar configuration to those in service with the Lithuanian Army, which refers to them as the Vilkas IFV. This would mean that the vehicles would feature Israeli-developed Rafael Samson II 30×173 mm remote turrets, anti-armor Spike LR missiles, and US-made 30 mm MK-44S cannons.
The Lithuanian variant is unique in that IFV with the turret was not on the market at the time the contract was signed. The vehicles were designed and manufactured according to Lithuania’s order requirements.
The price tag for Slovenia’s Boxer purchase will include armament, logistics services and project management costs, the defense ministry said, adding that the price Slovenia would pay for the vehicle “was the same as other countries pay for the same configuration.”